Nielsen//NetRatings announced today that 6.6 percent of the U.S. adult online population, or 9.2 million Web users, have recently downloaded an audio podcast; 4.0 percent, or 5.6 million Web users, have recently downloaded a video podcast. These figures put the podcasting population on a par with those who publish blogs, 4.8 percent, and online daters, 3.9 percent. However, podcasting is not yet nearly as popular as viewing and paying bills online, 51.6 percent, or online job hunting, 24.6 percent.
Podcasting is a relatively new technology that enables users to quickly and easily download multimedia files, including audio and video, for playback on mobile devices including iPods and other MP3 players, as well as cell phones.
“The portability of podcasts makes them especially appealing to young, on-the-go audiences,” said Michael Lanz, analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings, in the press release. “We can expect to see podcasting become increasingly popular as portable content media players proliferate,” he continued.
As is often typical with new technologies, young people are more likely than their older counterparts to engage in audio or video podcasting. Web users between the ages 18 and 24 are nearly twice as likely as the average Web user to download audio podcasts, followed by users in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups, who were also more likely than the average Web user to download audio podcasting. Video podcast viewers trended a little older, with 25-34 year olds indexing the highest. Web users above the age of 45 were less likely than average to engage in podcasts of either sort.
Since the popularity of Apple’s iPod is largely responsible for the spread of podcasting, not surprisingly podcast listeners/viewers enjoy using Apple products and visiting Apple Web sites. For example, audio and video podcast listeners/viewers are over three times as likely as the average Web user to use Apple’s Safari as their primary Internet browser.
Among audio podcast listeners, Macworld is the No. 1 most-visited content site, with a composition index of 606. Apple and iTunes are the No. 2 and 3 e-commerce sites visited by audio podcast listeners, with composition indexes of 455 and 396, respectively. The Apple connection is not as clear for video podcast viewers, who flock to Startrek.com among content sites, with an index of 864. Live365.com and eMusic are the two most popular ecommerce sites for video podcast viewers, with indexes of 730 and 656, respectively.
“Competitors to the iPod are now in the marketplace, but Apple got a big head start,” said Lanz. “It will take time before other portable media players make significant in-roads with the early-adopters who are currently
podcasting,” he continued.
Tables showing data can be found in the PDF file linked to below:
• Market Size Estimation of Audio and Video Podcast listeners/viewers
• Composition Index according to Age Group among Audio and Video listeners/viewers
• Primary Internet Browsers among Audio and Video listeners/viewers
• Top Content and E-Commerce Sites Visited by listeners/viewers
• Top 10 Advertisers by Estimated Spending
Full article (.pdf) here.
That’s “podcast,” folks. Not “zencast,” “sansacast,” or “zunecast.”
[UPDATED:11:07am EDT: Changed Nielsen//NetRatings “podcasters” term to podcast listener/viewer in spots for clarity. Thanks, Spark.]
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